In our photo journey series, Uncommon - My life as a Rapids Academy player, we followed the Rapids' U14 team as they traveled across the Atlantic to Ireland where they participated in the 2017 Galway Cup. Through the journal below, we get a glimpse into the world of a Colorado Rapids Development Academy player as they experience culture and soccer abroad.
Monday, August 7
"After a long plane ride we arrived in Shannon, Ireland. We hopped on a bus and headed to Galway," Rapids U-14 player Samuel Ovesen said. "After we got settled into our rooms we went out for a walk around the town. We walked along the River Corrib, and through the city streets."
Tuesday, August 8
"After training we had some time to explore the beautiful town of Galway," Ovesen said. "We walked through Galway Square and visited the river! We saw some cool street performers and went to the Galway Cathedral."
"We saw a man making a dog out of sand in the streets," Joseph Kresnik said. "He was using only a triangular shaped shovel, brush, and his hands to create the sand dog. It was incredible to watch it form. He was so concentrated when he was doing his work. It was an incredible piece of art work. This was a great experience on the streets of Galway."
"After we stopped at a few stores on the way back to shop for souvenirs, then grabbed dinner and went back to rest up for the tournament," Ovesen said.
Wednesday, August 9
"Wednesday we played in two matches. We tied our first against NESCL (1-1), and won our second against the Waterford Schoolboys (1-0)," Connor Miller said. "To get to the fields we took a bus, or as they call it, a coach. We shared the bus with another team and it was an amazing experience. As soon as we got to the fields we piled into the locker room and changed into our cleats. We then went to some turf fields to warm up. Eventually it was match time. We got to the fields and passed around a few balls. Then the captains went to the ref and the match got under way. As soon as we came back from the mathes we had time to hang out and chill with our teammates. I went to someone else's room and chilled with them. We had to be in our dorms by 9 PM and lights out was at 9:30 PM."
Thursday, August 10
"Thursday we woke up and went to breakfast," Alan Sevilla said. "It was so good! After that we went on the bus and went to our third match of the tournament. We warmed up and went on to the pitch. We scored twice in the first half against Athlone. Unfortunately, in the second half we didn't score, but the other team didn't score either, so we won (2-0)! After the match we celebrated by relaxing in our apartments at the National University of Ireland. Later we went to downtown Galway to look at the stores for some souveniers. After that we walked back to our apartments, and went to bed."
Friday, August 11
"We had a team meeting at 9:15, followed by a breakfast filled with eggs and hash browns," Mack Swett said. "After breakfast we went back to our rooms and tried to relax before our 2004 Elite Cup semifinal match against Galway DL. Shortly after, we took the bus to the fields. There we got ready in the locker room and went to warm up. The match resulted in a 3-3 tie, and won on penalty kicks 4-3. Following the match, we had dinner and went back to the rooms to sleep."
Saturday, August 12
"The entire team was socializing and playing games with each other after they were done with breakfast," Joseph Kresnik said. "We had so many options to choose from at the cafeteria we ate at, it was amazing. We all got creative with our food and drinks. It was a blast; the food was delicious. We had the option of fruit, bread, and other things like that. The workers there were so nice and helpful, they served food for us every day, three times a day. It was an amazing experience to have that much help from the neighbors in Galway."
"After breakfast, Janelle lead us through a series of stretches to help us get ready for the championship match against Sligo/Leitrim. As a team, we did stretches like standing up straight, trying to touch our toes, or doing butterflies. It was great to feel focused and ready for the championship match coming our way later that day."
"We had a great time playing in the Galway Cup this week. It was an honor to be there, and play in Ireland. As a team, we fought hard throughout this tournament, from the first to last whistle of every match. Then having to go through semis on penalties and the finals on penalties was just insane. It was a privilege to play these teams in this tournament and take home a cup."